There is an old Texas saying - "If you don't like the weather today, just stick around". That is especially true in winter in Austin when Christmas Day can be better suited to a barbecue, while Superbowl Sunday may find everyone huddled inside over a big pot of chili. The season also heralds a longtime Austin tradition -- the hard freeze plant shuffle, hauling those plants from the patio inside and then a day later dragging them back into the sunshine.
The Four Seasons in Austin
The numbers are somewhat misleading. For example, the average low temperature in winter is 4O F and the average high 61 F. But it can be a balmy 80 F on a December afternoon, when the wind suddenly shifts to the north and the skies are swept clear by what the locals call a "blue norther" and within minutes the temperatures can drop 20 to 30 degrees.
Spring can be a glorious time of year with wildflowers in bloom and averages ranging from 51 F low to average 72 F high. But it also is a volatile season with sudden thunderstorms that can turn dry creek beds into raging torrents in minutes. NEVER try to cross a creek bed during a rainstorm and do not drive around those gates that block flooding roadways in the Hill Country around Austin.
Summer is, in a word, HOT, with an average low of 73 F and an average high of 93 F. In July and August, there can be stretches of 100 degree plus days, thankfully usually "dry heat" which does not feel quite as bad as high humidity days when temperatures are in the nineties. With air conditioning in almost all public buildings, a few old barbecue joints being the exception, summers are tolerable and the hottest part of the day is usually the late afternoon when sidewalk cafes beckon.
Fall, like spring can be wonderful. With average nighttime temperatures of 60 F and daytime temps at 81 F on average, it is time to open the windows and enjoy the fresh air.
First time visitors are surprised not only by the subtropical weather in Central Texas, but also the scenery. All those movie images of a barren, dusty Texas are misleading and often filmed in Utah or Arizona. Austin is green and lush with tree-filled neighborhoods and parks. The Highland Lakes to the West and the Colorado River that wends through the heart of the city make water sports popular year round. Austin parks and greenbelts are favorite haunts no matter the season and every fall and spring the landscape comes alive with waves of wildflowers.
There is only one cautionary note -- all this greenery makes Austin an allergy haven. Some even believe one of the city's nicknames, City of the Violet Crown, refers to the haze of purple pollen that hangs on the horizon during some spring sunsets. But a few numbingly hot days a year, those infrequent freezes and once-a-decade snowflake dustings are the exception not the rule in a city where the sun shines more than 200 days out of the year.
See current conditions and forecasts for Austin Weather.